The Battle of Gettysburg, considered a turning point in the Civil War for both sides, was the single bloodiest battle in the entire war - with over 46,000 casualties. Fought near the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Confederate General Robert E. Lee had planned to invade the north to shift the battlegrounds from Virginia and force the Union politicians to the bargaining table. General Lee's forces were being pursued by Union General George G Meade, who was encouraged by President Lincoln to follow the Confederate forces and stop them as soon as possible.
On July 1, several units from the two forces met for the first time north and west of the town of Gettysburg. The Union defenses were hastily assembled, and were unable to withstand the large Confederate assault, and the Union forces were forced to retreat through the town. On the second day, both armies had assembled, and the Union forces were to the south of Gettysburg, in an inverted J formation. On the second day, the Union defenses were much better prepared, and although the Confederate forces assaulted the Union lines from the east and west, even with taking great casualties the Union defensive lines held.
On July 3rd, the Confederates launched their final assault on Union positions, using the same basic strategy as in the previous day. Although they had more success than the previous day, attacks like Pickett's Charge cost the Confederates much manpower while winning them no ground in return. The next day, with heavy rains falling, neither army was willing to risk an advance across a mud-soaked battlefield, and late on July 4, General Lee began moving his army back towards the south, ending his drive into the north.
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